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Last Updated: Friday, 21 January, 2005, 10:00 GMT
Shivers and security greet Bush
By Kevin Anderson
BBC News website, Washington

President Bush delivering his speech at the inauguration
Hundreds of thousands attended President Bush's inauguration
The weather was cold as the city of Washington recovered from its first snow of the season on Wednesday.

But it was far better than the freezing rain that fell on President George W Bush's first inauguration in 2001.

This time round, there was a blanket of security to match the blanket of snow.

Helicopters circled the Capitol. Military planes patrolled the skies and enforced a no-fly zone over Washington.

Coast Guard boats patrolled the Potomac River, watching not only the waters but also the bridges leading into Washington.

Spectators had to pass through security checkpoints and faced tight restrictions on what could be brought to the inauguration and to parade.

Thousands who had hoped to watch the inauguration from the National Mall missed the event because of long security queues.

A group of 100 students from Long Island, New York, stood in the cold for four hours but did not make it through the security checkpoint to see the event.

Those who missed the event complained that there were not sufficient security personnel to handle the huge crowds.

Cheers and jeers

But there was a festive atmosphere in the crowd in front of the Capitol.

The largely Republican crowd jeered Senator John Kerry, President Bush's opponent in the election, and cheered when conservative icon Newt Gingrich arrived.

Mr Gingrich is rumoured to be contemplating a run for the presidency in 2008.

Supreme Justice William Rehnquist
Justice William Rehnquist looked frail from his battle with thyroid cancer

There was some distant cheering when Bill Clinton arrived with his wife, Senator Hillary Clinton of New York.

But the applause did not come from President Bush's supporters close to the Capitol. The Clintons are the Democrats that Republicans love to hate.

However, the greatest applause, apart for the president and vice-president, came for Condoleezza Rice.

This might have been Republicans not only showing support for the woman who will be the next secretary of state, but also to show how upset they were with Democrats for delaying her confirmation until next week.

Moral values

Supreme Court Chief Justice William Rehnquist was helped onto the stage to deliver the oath of office.

The chief justice, who has been receiving treatment for thyroid cancer, looked very frail and spoke in a voice weakened by a recent tracheotomy.

This will only feed speculation about who President Bush will nominate to replace Justice Rehnquist, and how that will change the balance of power with an evenly balanced court.

The ceremony was full of references to God.
Alan Winslette, Bush supporter
I like his courage, his moral values, his support of freedom around the world
Alan Winslette, Bush supporter

Gospel singer Wintley Phipps sang: "Protect us with the power of thy rod. And keep us one nation under God."

And in one of his many statements on the power of freedom, President Bush quoted Abraham Lincoln: "Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves and, under the rule of a just God, cannot long retain it."

It is President Bush's faith in God that is one of the reasons that Alan Winslette of Houston Texas supports him.

He has been a supporter of the Bush family since George Bush Senior was the 41st president of the United States.

Mr Winslette likes the current President Bush's "courage, his moral values, his support of freedom around the world".

Divisions

In his inaugural address, President Bush also spoke of the divisions in the world - and among Americans.
anti-war protestor
This protestor interrupted Mr Bush's inaugural speech

"We have known divisions, which must be healed to move forward in great purposes - and I will strive in good faith to heal them," he said.

And those divisions made a rare intrusion into the inaugural ceremony as Mr Bush gave his address.

A man started shouting: "Hey Bush where are the poor? Did you ship them off to war?"

One of the president's supporters threw a snowball at the protester, and he was allowed to shout for a brief time before police escorted him away.

Ariel Vegosen, with anti-war group Code Pink, got tickets to the inauguration from her member of Congress. "It's time we bring the troops home now," she said.

Some in the crowd were angered by the presence of protesters.

As Ms Vegosen held up a sign that said "Impeach Bush", a woman came up to the group and angrily said: "Do you have a son in Iraq? Do you have a son in Iraq? I do. He's fighting for you. You make me sick."

And small protests continued during the inaugural parade.

Anti-war protestors hold an 'Impeach Bush' sign
Anti-war protestors called on President Bush to bring the troops home

Some held up flag-draped coffins. Another protester held up a sign that said, "Bushies/America's Taliban".

The president's motorcade sped up twice, once as it passed a group of protesters and another time when an orange object hit one of the Secret Service vehicles near the presidential limousine.

But some counter-protesters came out during the parade to heap scorn on the anti-war, anti-Bush protesters. One held up a sign that said: "Democratic cry babies".




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